In this blog, I would like to reflect on some thoughts I've had by using the metaphor, "we can all be parents."
- 3 min. read
Image by Fallon Michael
I officially started babysitting when I was a teenager, but I've liked kids since I was four. This year before the virus hit, I also got a chance to help an older person. I've heard the Greek expression, "we become babies when we grow really old," multiple times, but I've always thought it mostly referred to the need for both babies and the elderly to be taken care of. This year, I realized that it's so much more than that. Both children and the elderly are more genuine; they are always honest. They'll tell you if they hate your cake and they'll also tell you if they loved it. Most importantly, they'll appreciate you being there, keeping them company. This might sound given - who doesn't appreciate that, right? But the truth is when people are young or really old, they become more vulnerable; they remind you how to live.... They remind you that people are not always around, so when they are, give them all your love. In fact, this couldn't be more relevant during the time of a pandemic. I remembered that last summer, I asked my 94-year old grandpa, who has been in a successful marriage for over 25 years, what it takes to get there.
He said, "to have someone next to you for all these years, you have to love them."
The sweet words and appreciation of children for spending time with them hit you as hard as when those same words come from someone who is 90. These people are evidence that we must not forget to feel. The child will remind you to always be real, to play, to create, to imagine, to use pillows and make a fortress, to be happy and humble. The 90-year-old will give you wise advice; he/she will remind you to appreciate time because it passes, he/she will show you that what matters in the end when your body becomes frail and your mind is not that sharp is not what you know but who is there for you. Older people and children can't always give you something back for your kindness, but is that really the point?
So, what does it take to be a "parent?"
Let your children play. Life is a game. Experts say that children develop most through playing... But playing is not just for children; it's for adults too... Playing for adults means spreading smiles.
Some of you might not know how to change a diaper, but you all know how to smile. Some of the happiest people I've met in my life (including people who've lived more than 100 years are still kids at heart and parents at "head.") This means knowing when to be serious, learning how to interact professionally, but also letting go sometimes and being funny, carefree... My wisest advice to you is, live your life with a schedule, plan, always follow your dreams, work hard, get up every time you fall, but don't forget to stop and spend a day to evaluate yourself, distress and not live by the clock; close your eyes and feel. Because to feel is to live and we must not forget that.
If you got to the end of this, send this to a friend who makes you smile and put a smile on their face. Then you can be a parent too...